Gites in Loir et Cher
Loir et Cher
Rent gites in Loir et Cher and you are in a department of France that has some of France’s most famous Chateau. It also marks the eastern end of the Valley of Kings, after this point the huge Renaissance Chateaux become more sparse – replaced by numerous smaller medieval castles and manor houses.
The most famous Chateau, Chateau de Chambord is here, vast and within huge parklands. Busy all year round and visited by people from all over the globe – its usually on the itinerary of anyone from overseas spending time exploring France.
Château de Cheverny – made famous by the Tintin comic books and home to magnificent interiors and furniture is also within Loir et Cher. As is Chateau de Chaumont, which every summer hosts a world famous garden festival in its grounds. There are always more than twenty show gardens to wander around and enjoy, in addition to the beautiful chateau itself.
It’s a sparsely populated department without a major city – the busiest centre is the river-side town of Blois, used historically as the home of the French court (from time to time), in a similar way to Amboise a little further upstream but in Indre et Loire.
This stretch of the Loire river is still part of the UNESCO world heritage site and can be cycled using the Loire a Velo cycle way. The road also follows the river and will take you through one pretty riverside town after another.
The village of Lavardin is listed in France’s 100 most beautiful villages. A gothic bridge spans the river Loir to get to the village, which lies nestled at the foot of a fortified castle. Visitors can admire what is left of the walls and towers and the 26-metre-high keep. Within the village itself there is a mix of architectural styles and periods in the village, from cave dwellings to gothic and Renaissance houses.
Here you will find a number of distinctive wines. Coteaux du Loir can be red, white and rose. The reds are produced from Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis, Malbec and Cabernet and are fruity and light Roses account for only 10% of Coteaux du Loir wines and are made from the same varieties. The Coteaux du Loir white wines vary from bone-dry and steely to incredibly sweet, honey-scented botrytized wines and are made exclusively from Chenin Blanc.
Cheverny is an appellation producing red, white and rose wines with vineyards located in and around Cheverny itself. The light, fresh Cheverny reds are made from Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Pinot Noir, and are best consumed young. The roses are mainly Pinot Noir, complemented by Gamay and a small addition of Cabernet Franc and Malbec. White Cheverny wines are made from a mixture of Sauvignon and lesser proportions of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Arbois (spelled Orbois here). They are not dissimilar in style to the wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume.
Cour-Cheverny, wines are produced in a similar location but has a larger catchment area of vineyards.